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Friday, November 16, 2012

NFL Week 11 Picks: WAR. What Is It Good For?


Purists say that all the newfangled statistics are ruining baseball. And the stat nerds say the newfangled stats are the purest way of analyzing the game. Ahhh yes. The debate rages on. And since the debate has come to the forefront with the latest selection of Miguel Carbrera over Mike Trout as American League MVP, I thought I'd take a second to give you my thoughts on the matter before I get down to making this week's picks. And here they are...

1) The term "MVP" is so ambiguous, that trying to back it up with anything "solid" or legitimate" really becomes a futile enterprise. "Value" is an opinion. There's no iron clad way to "prove" it, so until they change the name of the award, voters can vote almost any which way they please and not have to provide much of an explanation past "that was my opinion"...

2) IF they did change the name of the award to "best" player, and put a statistical system in place to determine said player, that stat would be called "WAR". Or "Wins Above Replacement". IT does a better job of portraying a player's importance than any of the old time metrics, and statistically gets right to the heart of determining a player's actual value...

So, here's the long and short of it. You either make it so there isn't a vote, and that the player with the best WAR every year wins the MVP. OR, you leave it open to a prehistoric vote, where the uneducated use any number of their own metrics to determine the winner. Personally, I leave it open to the vote. But that's mostly because I enjoy watching the tards across the country cast their votes for Hunter Pence, and enjoy even more the hilarious social network fallout that then results...

IF I felt it actually mattered, if I had some sort of dog in this fight. I'd be aggressively lobbying for WAR to become the gold standard. I mean, why let a bunch of crusty old sports writers, who may have seen like 10% of total games played this season, figure it out, when there's an iron clad statistical system in place that can do a much more efficient job? Oh, right. Because of the hilarity that will ensue on the Interweb. How quickly I forget...

Speaking of hilarity on the Interweb and trying to make heads or tails of sketchy numbers, let's see if I can't make some sense of this week's games in the NCAA & NFL. Because we all know the only numbers football fans care about have to do with the spread. And maybe their fantasy team. But here, we're gonna focus on the spread. Personally, I hope your fantasy team sucks to the point where you stop trying to tell me about it...

Which leads me to one more mini rant: Would you ever walk up to a complete stranger and just out of the blue ask them if you should get married to someone that they don't even know? Of course you wouldn't. But that's how you sound when you walk about to someone that's not in your league, doesn't know your league size, doesn't know your roster and doesn't know your scoring system, and ask them about some advice for your fantasy team. Yeah, sure. Get married. This doesn't mean I have to buy you a gift, right?

Just come prepared, peeps. I know you want answers, but it certainly helps in giving one if you at first fully understand the question...

Enjoy!

Week 11 Picks

Indianapolis Colts (+9.5) @ New England Patriots

I think I figured out how to bet the Pats. I've been terrible, so far. But I think I've finally got it...

In divisional games, take the underdog. For whatever reasons, the familiarity within the division seems to end up benefiting the team getting the points. That would mean in non divisional games, you should take the Pats. Again, for whatever reason there, the lack of familiarity seems to favor the Patriots. It used to be that Bill Belichick would screw with opposing QBs that weren't ready for his system, but now I'm not sure what it is...

So, if I were to follow my new system, I'd be taking the Pats this week. But, as all good researchers do, I figured I'd test it out first. See if it's ass effective as I believe it's going to be for the rest of the year. And besides, I try not to bet on double digit favorites that have virtually no pass defense. Aqib Talib or no Aqib Talib...


Green Bay Packers (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions

The Lions have shown some life of late, proving that they're closer to the team we'd thought they'd be than the team they actually are. But the Packers are still the Packers. I don't expect a blowout, but with a healthier Jordy Nelson set to make his return, I'd rather be on the side that's found it's stride than the one that still hasn't convinced the masses that it won't fall flat on it's face at any second...

Yeah, Matt Stafford. That last jab was for you. You and that balky collarbone of yours...


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) @ Carolina Panthers

This one wasn't that tough. I sure as Hell wasn't going to bet on the Panthers. So here we are...

Doesn't hurt that the Bucs have been particularly good of late, either...

WARREN MOON. WARREN MOON. VINCE YOUNG. WARREN MOON.


St. Louis Rams (-3.5) vs New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) @ Washington Redskins

Two teams with green uniforms, 3-6 records and polarizing left handed QBs. They both happen to have fat coaches with sketchy fetishes (feet, facial hair) that should have long since been fired, but there's no time for that...

The difference between the two, is that while the Eagles actually have something to look forward to in young QB Nick Foles, the Jets don't have a backup plan at all. Matter of fact, if you hear the players tell it, they're backup isn't even a suitable backup plan. If anything, they'd be dealing with "Plan C". And we all know what happens when you end up enacting "Plan C". BAM! You get AIDS. OR maybe it was hepatitis. That would make a lot more sense with the whole "C' aspect of it, but I can't remember for sure. It could still easily be AIDS...

Look for Nick Foles to continue the successful tradition of QBs filling in more Mike Vick, and for Mark Sanchez to fake a season ending injury so he can sit back and watch Tebow fail. OR watch Tebow lead the Jets to 10-6 and a playoff berth. Either way. If your Mark Sanchez, it's probably just best you remove yourself from that whole situation. Even if that means purposefully taking a header into the turf and giving yourself a concussion. OR maybe use the wall, Gus Frerotte style. That seemed to work out pretty well for him...


Baltimore Ravens (-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Ravens are terrible on the road, and Byron Leftwich is just terrible. Hmmmm. This one's a tough nut to crack. Guess I'll just take the team that doesn't have the injured QB. Even if that uninjured QB happens to be Joe Flaccid...


Monday Night

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) vs Chicago Bears

I'm calling this one the Mike Singeltary Bowl. He may not a direct role this time around, but the former Bear player and Niner coach will always be a topic when these two teams meet up. As for the pick, I'm taking the team with the concussed QB that's actually likely to play. Because when it comes to Jason Campbell, the Bears just can't win with 'em. CAN'T DO IT!...



As for the rest of the slate, here are a few thoughts:

Shaun King says the Cardinals are going to win. If you remember who Shaun King is, good for you. If not, that just means you're normal. So carry on. I don't think they're going to win, but I do think that Falcons will continue to be exposed...

OK, so maybe that was only one thought. Either way. Here ya go...


Arizona Cardinals (+10) @ Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns (+8) @ Dallas Cowboys

Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs

Jacksonville Jaguars (+17) @ Houston Texans

Oakland Raiders (+5) vs New Orleans Saints

San Diego Chargers (+8) @ Denver Broncos



Last Week: 8-6-0

Overall: 90-74-6 (.547)

Twitter Picks: 18-9-1 (.661)



Whats left that hasn't already been said about my freakish ability to handicap top 25 college football? That I'm a lucky bastard? That I spend more time looking for scantily clad coeds than I do analyzing trends and results? Nope, those things have already been said. Mostly because they're true. But I did go 9-2 last week, and my 62% clip has me ranked as one of the premier handicappers in the country. So there. That's success. And you can't argue with success. Well, you can. But you'll most likely end up on the wrong end of being tossed off a piece of property by what seems to be an overdressed man servant. And really, the white gloves just make the arrangement look all the more racist...

But yeah, get off my lawn. Or I'll enact my right as a rich person to shoot you and get away with it. Your kids will be sad. But I'll still be rich. Now beat it...


NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) Oregon (-20.5) vs (14) Stanford

Baylor (+13) vs (2) Kansas St.

Wisconsin (-2.5) vs (6) Ohio St.

(8) LSU (-18-5) vs Mississippi

NC State (+17) @ (11) Clemson

West Virginia (+11) vs (13) Oklahoma

(16) Nebraska (-20) vs Minnesota

(17) UCLA (+3.5) vs (21) USC

(19) Louisiana Tech (+3) vs Utah St.

(22) Rutgers (+6.5) @ Cincinnati

Iowa (+17) @ (23) Michigan

(23) Texas Tech (+10.5) @ Oklahoma St.

Bowling Green (-2.5) vs (25) Kent St.


Last Week: 9-2-0

Overall: 68-41-3 (.621)


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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